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Old 02-11-2013, 07:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Wastegate Question for '87 Esprit Turbo

Considering buying a 1987 Turbo Esprit but the diaphragm is bad in the wastegate and supposedly they are no longer available. I'm sure with the car being 25 years old this is a common problem. What's a cost effective solution to fix? I can get the car pretty cheap but I don't have any idea what it will run to fix this. Aftermarket or used/NOS? Would love advice. Thanks, Dan
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would recommend that the previous owner take on getting this fixed before you buy it instead of the other way around. I say that because I have a friend with an 86 that is garage bound because he can't get a similar issue fixed with his wastegate.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by lotusespritse View Post
I would recommend that the previous owner take on getting this fixed before you buy it instead of the other way around. I say that because I have a friend with an 86 that is garage bound because he can't get a similar issue fixed with his wastegate.
Sadly, its a tough to get part. They do fail but its almost always becasue of sitting and not being used enough. Typical for older exotics....they "wear out" from NOT being used. Go figure.

Maybe SJ sportscars in the UK can help?

What are the other details of the car? I also have an '87 Turbo.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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What about Majestic Turbo in Texas? They do rebuild Esprit Garret turbos.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If you can find the diaphram, I'd be surprised if the diaphram alone isn't several hundred dollars. If you can't repair the diaphram/wastegate, then you're looking at spending even more. While you can replace the portion of the manifold (which is prone to cracking even if you have a good wastegate) that holds the wastegate, that piece will set you back a few hundred bucks (not sure exactly...my car is an 89 with an internal wastegate, but I have a friend who had to do it...which brings me to the next point). Then you'd need to either decide how to integrate an alternate aftermarket external wastegate or replace the turbo with one of an internal wastegate design.

If the car is good otherwise, it might still be worth pursuing, but I'd be prepared for a real hastle to sort it out, and I'd budget at least $1,000. It could be less if you can find a diaphram, but I doubt it and it could easily be more, depending on the path you take.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I would talk to the people at Majestic Turbo in Texas and get their views on finding a diaphragm or else the cost of adapting something else to replace the existing wastegate. I've used their service and they are really knowledgeable - it will only cost you the phone call to make the inquiry.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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As already suggested by Mikey, SJ Sportscars in England have them.

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Old 02-12-2013, 10:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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JAE in CA may have them. Ask PO to fix it and test drive the car.
The "only diaphragm problem" may be just a cover up for some deeper problems.
Never buy a non-running car, especially Bosch injected Esprit Turbo!
Always, but always, do PPI and/or have someone related to this forum take a look at it to confirm the basics. If you talk in person and spend enough time talking to the PO /owner, you can tell what kind of person he is.
Read this, and learn: FINALLY Almost done with the Esprit with a story for all and Rant.
Where is the car located?
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The "only diaphragm problem" may be just a cover for some deeper problems.
Never buy a non-running car, especially Bosch injected Esprit Turbo!
I have to agree with this senitment completely. From the OP post, however, it would seem that other than the "diaphram problem", the car is in running condition. If the diaphram is damaged, the wastegate is limited to the mechanical boost limit and the torn diaphram would mean that the diaphram could not keep the wastegate closed beyond the mechanical boost limit. That's assuming the 88 external wastegate design works the same as the internal design used thereafter, as least. If this really is all that's wrong, the car should run well even with the diaphram damage...it just wouldn't make as much power as it would with the diaphram, due to limited boost. (If the external wastegate is configured to relieve pressure rather than maintain it, the car would make too much boost when driven hard, and should trip the overboost module resulting in strong momentary performance followed by a stalling effect.) If it doesn't run correctly right now, there's more wrong than the diaphram, and as MrDangerous says, beware of the deeper problems lurking.

As for diaphram sources, I think it's been some time since JAE and SJ who have been mentioned, as well as RdEnt, etc. have had one in stock. I've known of a few folks over the past few years who couldn't find it at any of the "usual suspects." The last I've heard of anyone finding one to rebuild the wastegate was several years ago. It could be that they are in circulation again, but I wouldn't assume you can find one without confirming that they are available and in-stock.

Last edited by dalefield; 02-12-2013 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Dan,

I purchased a WG diaphragm from JAE last summer.


I almost croaked when I got the bill, it was $250!!!!!! That'll teach me to ask first.


I mean, how much could a piece of old inner-tube cost????


Look for a topic started by FerrariGuy, they found that an '88's WG had leakage around the poppet valve stem that caused driveability problems.




+++++++++++++++++


An alternative might be to obtain a Garret T3 turbo with an internal wastegate (as Lotus used starting in '89). These have the added benefit of being water-cooled. Type 82 has one in his '87.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Is there a reason that owners don't just buy a new turbo? If my turbo went bad, I would be looking into a new ball bearing turbo. There are many turbo calculators online that help give you the date you need to compare to turbo maps and find an ideal turbo. The one on my car appears to be a T-3 with both water and oil cooling/lubrication. these types of turbos are readily available.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Is there a reason that owners don't just buy a new turbo? If my turbo went bad, I would be looking into a new ball bearing turbo. There are many turbo calculators online that help give you the date you need to compare to turbo maps and find an ideal turbo. The one on my car appears to be a T-3 with both water and oil cooling/lubrication. these types of turbos are readily available.
I think there are 2 reasons, but neither is a insurmountable.

To change to an internal wastegate, the section of exhaust manifold holding the wastegate neeeds to be replaced, or at least blocked off. JAE sells the replacement manifold section, but it's several hundred dollars before the expense of the new turbo. As for the turbo selection, the stock turbo is a T3/T4. That's not too hard to find. However, Lotus had it built with a 3" hotside outlet to the downpipe. I think only Lotus used this. The ones on the market are usually 2" or 2.5", so when you can find one of the Lotus variety in good working condition, it's usually pretty pricey. An aftermarket solition with modern engineering is probably a better solution, but then some knowledge of turbo selection is helpful. Togeher, these problems make it a PITA. If I had the external wastegate design and had sourcing problems, I might bite the bullet and replace the turbo and manifold, but I think I might be more likely to convert to a Tial external wastegate.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:21 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Interesting...

Reading the Tial WG description, they advocate replacing the internal WG with an external one because this type is less restrictive. Apparently that would be a problem if the amount of exhaust gasses exceeds the capacity of the internal WG.


Is this a problem real-world?
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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It's quasi-real world. Race cars quite often have external wastegates as it's a more efficient design. On the street, it's cool to have just because...and if you track your car, it becomes real world again. For a sreet cruiser, though, it falls back into the quasi category...especially if you have an otherwise unmodified engine. When the flow rates start to rise to high levels is when it's worth thinking about.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Well, I bought the car...$10k. It is absolutely stunning. I have owned an '83 and an '85, and this car puts both to shame cosmetically. The paint and interior are perfect. The car runs and drives fine, just doesn't have the "power" band that it should. If I don't get too heavy on the throttle, is there any problem with me driving the car until I can find a diaphragm? I don't want to hurt anything. JAE said they are going to start carrying them soon...waiting on a prototype to test...could be just a few weeks.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:00 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Congrats!!!

Pics!!!
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:45 AM   #17 (permalink)
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The car runs and drives fine, just doesn't have the "power" band that it should. If I don't get too heavy on the throttle, is there any problem with me driving the car until I can find a diaphragm?
It's just an exhaust leak. Won't hurt anything I don't think.

What is the boost on the boost gauge above 3200 RPM? Should be about .65 BAR.


I've heard, a torn diaphragm (or leaky wastegate poppet valve) causes a buck or sag in power at about 3000 RPM. Other things can do that as well (fuel pumps, compression, sticky fuel metering vane)


I'm told that the carb'd cars had better initial acceleration off the line than Bosch FI cars...there's something to be said for accelerator pumps....




But yeah, WE WANT PICS! Congrats on your purchase.
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